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Old 03-13-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
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981, 987, or 986? Your choice.

I have a perfect condition, 39,000 mile 2004 SE550. Had it since new. No issues.

I got a little restless last summer and spent time driving and considering strongly a Spyder, but decided I really wasn't ready to deal with the bikini top, since I choose to drive the 986 fairly often, at least if the weather is decent, and when I do I don't want to deal with assembling the top out in the parking lot, and I won't be tracking this particular car, I finally nixed the Spyder and decided to just content myself with my car for awhile.

In photos the 981 really grabs me visually, plumping up its rear to look a little more wedge-like, and less like the front and rear are interchangeable. Of course, I've not seen one in the aluminum.

So I'm thinking about this summer, when the 981S is readily available.

Would you:

1) Buy a 981S, assuming it drives like current 987, only a little better;

2) Buy a 987S, 09 or later, and pocket around $20k in savings;

3) Keep 986S and spend around 8-10k on it, but still save around $40k over the 981 purchase. (PSS9s, IMSb/Clutch/Guardian, possibly HRE 560C wheels.)

I would never say "money is no object," but none of these choices would be a hardship in any way.


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Old 03-13-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
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I rarely like the looks of a new design from pics or even when the car 1st debuts & I still don't like 987 Box's, but that 981 looks really good to me so If you want to be 1st in your 'hood to sport that jump on it, but if you like your 986 just as much take a drive up Raby mountain in Cleveland & see what they can do for you!
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Old 03-13-2012, 02:45 PM   #3
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If I had the money? 981 without a doubt.

If I still enjoyed my 986? Well... upgrade it, pocket the rest. Could always swap in a 996 engine and have fun with that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:52 PM   #4
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After reading the latest Excellence (Seinfeld cover) where they talk about the Kline Boxster Spyder out-lapping a 997 GT3 in a Street Class event at Laguna Seca I would choose to skip the 981. By the way, they didn't do a darn thing to the 987 BS engine or exhaust. Unless there is a 981 Spyder on the way I have zero interest in the third generation Boxster if a 987 Boxster Spyder is on the table. The value is going to be very hard to beat once the resale comes down.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:25 PM   #5
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........981
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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I'd probably vote for a 987.2 base 2.9-litre and modest spec. Simple, pure, no nonsense Porsche.

The new 981 is rather vulgar and tinselly.
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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I thought about it long and hard. I love the way the spyder looks, it's uniqueness and it's capabilities. The options my car has are exactly what I would have ordered and would not be affordable for me even on a new base car.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:57 AM   #8
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I think the 986 is still the most fun to drive and lightest Boxster so I would still choose the 986.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #9
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Having owned a 986 and currently drive a 987--if money were no object--I'd go with the 981.
The looks make the same kind of splash the 986 did in the late 90's but it's a bigger car. I thought the 987 was an improvement on the 986 but it fell short in a few areas--side vents, rear fascia; the 981 styling looks like a well thought out package from the front bumper to the tail--no styling flubs because they ran out of time or ideas.
All that combined with bigger brakes, a better top and less weight means a big winner. I only wish they would have dolled out a bit more HP and TQ with the base car.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #10
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All that combined with bigger brakes,
The brakes are huge on the 981!

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:48 AM   #11
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The newest Porsche is always the best Porsche . 981 for sure ! if they do a spyder or Gt variant of this car it will make the current spyder a distant memory. A current spyder owner would never even consider a 986 ?
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:28 AM   #12
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The newest Porsche is always the best Porsche .
You're absolutely right.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:52 AM   #13
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In terms of the most cutting edge technology I think you guys are right. As far as "the best" Porsche. If you have a CGT, or a GT2 I'm thinking you are satiated beyond the payoff period if not then go for it, myself I'm sure to be happy a long time, years from now. I liked the 986 every spring like it was the first drive.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:20 AM   #14
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For me (OP), I have to be honest: I no longer track the car, and I find the 986S to be absolutely delightul for 7/10s or 8/10s street driving in the mountains. When I spent a good bit of time driving the BS last summer I found it to be slightly evolutionary, but not at all a "revolution" in terms of driving dynamics. I'm sure it must be at 9/10s or 10/10s, in the proper setting where that difference can be exploited. But for my purposes, I didn't find enough difference to prompt me to change. Plus the bikini top was a deal breaker.

So the only real reasons I would upgrade to a 987S would be:

-- appx 2" more legroom. When I set the seat up where I like it in my car, I have knees brushing the knee bolsters. In 987, the same setting has knees 2" from dash. This is a very good thing for me on longer trips.

-- 9A1 with no IMS. (Of course, who knows what HPFP or other issues will develop because of new DI tech, but at least right now they seem to be pretty bulletproof.)

-- Could change color inside and out. I love mine, but it's been almost 8 years.

-- Probably some warranty left.

-- Better stereo with iPod in.

Reasons to go to 981S:

-- On screen so far it has looked really gorgeous to my eye. I think I love the new design.

-- 9A1

-- Color/interior change

-- More leg room, possible more trunk room (don't know if that's true.)

-- Probably about the same weight as 986S.

-- Long warranty period before I start thinking about expenses again.

-- Better stereo that has iPod in.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
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Wait until the tuner companies like Techart start to make aero parts for the new car. The thing is going to look exotic !
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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The newest Porsche is always the most expensive Porsche .
Fixed it for you.



I don't know about you guys but I'm actually doing better now financially speaking than I was five years ago, yet I don't see the sticker price on a new Porsche quiet the same anymore. I don't know if the value of other things have gotten so much better like depressed home prices and cars like Hyundais that cover all the bases that your run of the mill 3 series BMW used to, but dropping $70 to $120K on a new Porsche that is sure to lose enough value to buy an older Carrera outright make me see the newest Porsche car in a totally different way. There are just too many other things you can do with your hard-earned caysh that you couldn't think of doing five years ago.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:07 PM   #17
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Financially, I also can still buy whatever car that I really want and unless you really want more luxury and/or some newer car snob appeal, then I'd say staying with the 986 (and adding whatever upgrades you like) is the best move.

Money is still money and $20,000 for the small list of upgrades for the 987 seems hard to justify as does the $40,000 for the 981. They just aren't THAT much more car for the money as compared to your existing 986.

My greatest temptation isn't a newer Boxster but to move up to a 996 or 997 model. THAT seems to be worth $20K-$50K.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #18
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Money is still money and $20,000 for the small list of upgrades for the 987 seems hard to justify as does the $40,000 for the 981. They just aren't THAT much more car for the money as compared to your existing 986.
True, but remember, the differences between a brand new 986S and 987S and 981S may not be all that great, but in this case there are other factors.

With the 987S I'd be getting 45hp and 30-ish lbs-ft torque (to slightly more than offset the extra 1xx pounds of weight). I'd also be buying a five-year reprieve from all the things that happen to a car because of age, regardless of mileage. And I'd be getting a 30,000 mile reprieve from the things that happen due to mileage, whenever that might happen (assuming I bought a 10,000 mile 2009 or 2010.) And for me that 30,000 miles translates to about 5years also.

And of course with the 981 those parameters become 9 years and 40,000 miles.

Maybe not worth 20k and 40k dollars respectively, but still it's not as simple as just comparing the relative merits of each car when new.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:21 PM   #19
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I will stick with my 986. Love the new Boxster but every time I wash mine I like it more and more.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #20
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NoGABiker - Sounds like you have the bug. Something to keep in mind is the styling of the new Boxster is different enough that both of the older models will start to look dated. Especially the 986.

If you are going to upgrade, I think the new one is the way to go. It's certainly worth a test drive.

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